DMCA takedowns of networks

Richard A Steenbergen ras at
Sat Oct 24 14:53:30 UTC 2009

On Sat, Oct 24, 2009 at 09:36:05AM -0400, Patrick W. Gilmore wrote:
> On Oct 24, 2009, at 9:28 AM, Jeffrey Lyon wrote:
> >Outside of child pornography there is no content that I would ever  
> >consider
> >censoring without a court order nor would I ever purchase transit  
> >from a
> >company that engages in this type of behavior.
> A DMCA takedown order has the force of law.

The DMCA defines a process by which copyright violations can be handled. 
One of the options in that process is to send a counter-notice to the 
takedown notice.

To quote:

> In order to ensure that copyright owners do not wrongly insist on the 
> removal of materials that actually do not infringe their copyrights, 
> the safe harbor provisions require service providers to notify the 
> subscribers if their materials have been removed and to provide them 
> with an opportunity to send a written notice to the service provider 
> stating that the material has been wrongly removed. [512(g)] If a 
> subscriber provides a proper "counter-notice" claiming that the 
> material does not infringe copyrights, the service provider must then 
> promptly notify the claiming party of the individual's objection. 
> [512(g)(2)] If the copyright owner does not bring a lawsuit in 
> district court within 14 days, the service provider is then required 
> to restore the material to its location on its network. [512(g)(2)(C)]

This seems like a very obvious case of parody/fair use, so the proper
response would be for the victim to send a counter-notice and then wait
for the complainer to settle the issue in court. No doubt the lawsuit
would never come, because they don't stand a chance in hell of actually
winning, but sending letters is cheap and surprisingly effective against 
the uninformed.

The reason you don't typically see these kinds of issues with providers
blocking large amounts of content by taking out whole IPs of their
downstreams is that it is cheap and easy to become your own service
provider for the purposes of DMCA. If you are hosting any content
yourself, you should really go to and
file for a designated agent.

Richard A Steenbergen <ras at>
GPG Key ID: 0xF8B12CBC (7535 7F59 8204 ED1F CC1C 53AF 4C41 5ECA F8B1 2CBC)

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